Jennifer Lopez

“Always follow your heart. Sometimes it's gonna hurt—but you're going to be fine.”

Jennifer Lopez, American singer, dancer and actress, 1969-present.

The ultimate triple threat, Jennifer Lopez, also known as J.Lo, started her career as a dancer, and has since become an accomplished actress and pop singer as well. Born in the Bronx, her “Jenny from the Block” song has inspired countless young minority women to strive for their wildest dreams, no matter how humble their beginnings. 

Inspired by Rita Moreno from 1961s West Side Story, Lopez started dancing and singing lessons at age five. She credits her Puerto Rican parents for fostering her confidence and trademark body positivity. Lopez was an accomplished athlete at her Catholic girls school, participating in track and field and tennis. She left home at 18, took a clerical job at a law firm, and did dancing jobs at night.

Lopez’s big break was as a “Fly Girl” on the popular TV comedy In Living Color when she was 21; two years later she became a backup dancer for Janet Jackson. Her big screen debut followed, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of the late Tejana singer in Selena, and starring in the hit rom-com The Wedding Planner.  

At the turn of the millennium Lopez turned her attention to pop music, astonishing critics with her first album which went platinum. Six more albums followed, in both English and Spanish, including the global hit “On the Floor.” 

In her romantic life, the multitasking superstar has also juggled numerous high profile relationships. Lopez was briefly married, in 1997, to Ojani Noa, a model and actor. She was involved with singer Sean Combs for a number of years until he was implicated in a shooting outside a nightclub with Lopez present. In 2001 she married Chris Judd, a dancer in her hit single “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” for nine months, and in 2002 was engaged to actor Ben Affleck, who co-starred with her in Gigli until the relationship fizzled. She then married salsa icon Mark Anthony in 2004 and gave birth to twins. They divorced in 2014, Lopez telling Vanity Fair “I loved myself enough to walk away.” She was then connected to dancer Casper Smart and engaged to baseball star Alex Rodriguez. Lopez recently rekindled her relationship with Affleck, and “Bennifer” was back. They married in 2022 and honeymooned in Paris. 

Lopez continues to shine as an actress in the rom-com genre, from Maid in Manhattan to the recent feel-good Marry Me but many feel she was snubbed at the Oscars for her performance as a pole dancer in Hustlers. She performed with fellow Latina Shakira and her child Emme at the 2019 Superbowl - a historic performance. The new documentary about her life, which shines a light on her work ethic, is called Half Time. “Overtime” might have been more fitting. Lopez’ latest venture is with a multi-million dollar fund that will provide loans to Latina entrepreneurs.


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